• Balloons in Search of Needles

    I love waterfalls. I’ve seen some of the world’s best, and they always have an impact. The big ones leave me awestruck at nature’s power. It was about 20 years ago that I did a boat trip on the upper Zambezi, ending at Victoria Falls. Such a placid river, full of game and hippopotamuses (and the occasional croc); and then you begin to hear the roar of the falls from miles away. Unbelievably majestic. From there the Zambezi River turns into a whitewater rafting dream, offering numerous class 5 thrills. Of course, you wouldn’t want to run them without a serious professional at the helm. When you’re looking at an 8-foot-high wall of water in front of you that you are going to have to go up (because it’s in the way); well, let’s just say it’s a rush.

    Posted to Thoughts From The Frontline by John Mauldin on 09-30-2015
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  • The Economy Surges Higher, But Is It For Real?

    Today we look at last Friday’s better than expected final report on 2Q GDP, which was revised from 3.7% to 3.9%. Best of all, this increase was largely due to increased consumer spending which accounts for almost 70% of GDP. Following the paltry 0.6% increase in GDP in the 1Q, this means the economy grew by 2.25% in the first half of this year.

    While a 3.9% jump in economic growth in the 2Q was welcome news, there is a growing consensus that such reports from the government may not be remotely accurate. The problem is, many agree, that the government’s “seasonal adjustments” to the monthly and quarterly data have gotten out of control, and the numbers reported are no longer reliable. We’ll talk about this below.

    Next, we’ll look into what many are calling a “flip-flop” on the part of Fed Chair Janet Yellen in the last two weeks on the subject of when short-term interest rates are likely to be raised. At the Fed’s latest policy meeting on September 17, they decided to postpone the first rate hike in nearly a decade, seemingly indefinitely. But then last Thursday, Yellen said lift-off will happen before the end of this year, and this sparked the latest selloff in the equity markets. So, what gives?

    I will close today with a few thoughts about the SuperMoon, BloodMoon and lunar eclipse we saw on Sunday night. I hope you got to view it.

    And finally, our latest WEBINAR with ZEGA Financial is now available for viewing on our website. ZEGA’s strategy for using options is one of the most interesting I have ever seen.

    Posted to Forecasts & Trends by Gary D. Halbert on 09-29-2015
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  • Germany’s Immigration Challenge

    This immigration crisis in Europe is a big deal, and it’s a bigger deal for Germany than for any other European country. Germany is directly in the firing line, both geographically and in terms of how many of the migrants want to settle there. Nearly 40% of migrants choose Germany as their preferred final destination, while the only other nation that is chosen by more than 10% of migrants is Hungary, at 18%.

    Daniel Stelter is a very wired German economist and business thinker. He wrote to me a couple days ago, said he had read my remarks on Germany and the immigration crisis in last week’s Thoughts from the Frontline, and recommended to my attention a couple of articles he had just written on the issue. They are today’s Outside the Box.

    Posted to John Mauldin's Outside the Box by John Mauldin on 09-25-2015
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  • On The Fed, Deflation, Government Shutdown & The Moon

    Once again this week, we touch on a variety of topics that piqued my interest over the last week. We begin with some further analysis of the Fed’s controversial decision to hold interest rates near zero last Thursday. While this was the topic of my Blog last Thursday, I have more analysis today that I think you’ll find interesting.

    One thing I conclude from the Fed’s decision last week is that Fed Chair Janet Yellen and a growing number of her colleagues are worried about deflation spreading to the US. Since most Americans living today have never experienced a prolonged period of deflation, we should talk about it at least briefly to understand why falling prices are bad for the economy.

    Next, as much as I hate to bring it up, we could be facing yet another government shutdown at the end of this month. Fiscal Year 2015 ends one week from tomorrow, and Congress has not passed a budget for FY2016. As a result, the government could effectively shut down starting on October 1. Here we go again.

    From there, we look at a new report which finds that the $13 trillion in government “debt held by the public” equals a record $107,000 per US household. Yet if we include all of our national debt of $18.4 trillion, that number goes up to over $150,000 per household.

    Finally, a rare combination of celestial events will grace the night sky later this month. NASA says a SuperMoon, a BloodMoon and a lunar eclipse will take place on the night of September 27, this coming Sunday. This rare event has happened only five times since 1900, most recently in 1982, and there won't be another one until 2033. Read about it at the end of today’s E-Letter so that you won’t miss it this Sunday night.

    Posted to Forecasts & Trends by Gary D. Halbert on 09-22-2015
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  • Will the FED Ever Pull The Trigger Under The Obama Administration? RE: Fixed Income Markets?

    “Liquidity crunch” is the watchword in the bond trading market that threatens to cause deep rifts in the financial market. The fixed income market in the U.S. finds itself suffering from the unintended consequence of injecting half a trillion...
    Posted to The Gold And Oil Guy by Chris Vermeulen on 09-22-2015
  • Merkel Opens the Gates

    It wasn’t a shock that the Federal Reserve did not raise rates. Even the most inside of insiders said the odds were at most 50-50. Those Wall Street Journal reporters who have an “inside ear” at the Federal Reserve all indicated there would be no rate increase. The IMF and the World Bank were pounding the table, declaring that it was inappropriate to raise rates now, and although most FOMC members give lip service to the fact that Federal Reserve policy is to be based solely on domestic considerations, global concerns may well have played a role in their decision.

    Posted to Thoughts From The Frontline by John Mauldin on 09-21-2015
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  • Would a Rate Hike Kill Us?

    As I write this today, I am awaiting the Fed’s decision on whether to hike the Fed Funds (“FF”) rate for the first time in almost a decade. The world is watching with what I would call unprecedented attention, but I don’t understand...
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  • Should You Worry That the Stock Market Just Formed a “Death Cross”?

    By Justin Spittler The world economy appears to be stalling… Yesterday, we got news that South Korea’s exports dropped 14.7% since last August...their largest decline since the financial crisis. It’s far worse than the 5.9% drop economists...
    Posted to Casey Research by Doug Casey on 09-21-2015
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  • Negative Rates & Abolishing Cash For The U.K.?

    In This Issue.

    * The dollar fights back after dust settles...

    * ECB members to talk about additional QE.

    * China's Beige Book says it's not so bad there!

    * Russia buys 1 Million Troy ounces of Gold in August! .

    Posted to Daily Pfennig by Chuck Butler on 09-21-2015
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  • Why More & More Americans Are Working In Retirement

    In my Blog last Thursday, I wrote about the astounding number of seniors 65 years and older who have not paid off their home mortgages. As a follow-up to that topic, a new report finds that more Americans than ever are working well into retirement. That’s where we will start today with a review of the latest numbers on those working beyond age 65.

    Following that, I will reprint the most interesting article I have read in some time. It is an article which discusses President Obama’s most likely legacy – one he will definitely be unhappy about. Interestingly, this article was written by Jeff Greenfield, the award-winning TV journalist, best-selling author and a Democrat. You will not believe what he has to say about Obama’s legacy. Let’s get started.

    Posted to Forecasts & Trends by Gary D. Halbert on 09-16-2015
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  • A Dirty Game of Numbers

    The newest addition of the Bureau of lies’ newest falsified and manipulated document about the employment figures is now out, available for viewing of the ignorant masses. The makers of the report will make sure that they drum it up for the whole...
    Posted to The Gold And Oil Guy by Chris Vermeulen on 09-14-2015
  • On The Economy, Inflation, China & Odds For Fed Liftoff

    The investment markets remain fixated on whether the Fed will hike interest rates for the first time in almost a decade on September 17. Stock market volatility spiked in late August and so far this month, with most global equity markets in “correction” territory. It remains to be seen if the latest stock market chaos will cause the Fed to delay lift-off until December or later.

    Other than global equity market weakness and below target inflation, other factors that would lead the Fed to tighten are in-line, although last Friday’s unemployment report for August could have been stronger. Today, we will examine the August jobs report, the strength of the US economy in general, inflation trends and the outlook for the US dollar. We’ll also take a look at the latest disappointing economic news out of China.

    We’ll end today with a look at the Fed Funds rate futures market to see what the probability is for a rate hike next week. At the end of last week, Fed Funds futures indicated an 81% chance of a rate hike on September 17, up from a 74% chance in August.

    It’s a lot to pack into one E-Letter, so let’s get started.

    Posted to Forecasts & Trends by Gary D. Halbert on 09-09-2015
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  • Weapons of Economic Misdirection

    This week’s letter will deal with the problems of determining what GDP really is, and I’ll throw in a few quick remarks on what the recent GDP revision means for the Fed and whether they’ll raise rates.

    Posted to Thoughts From The Frontline by John Mauldin on 09-03-2015
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  • Stocks Fell Off A Cliff in Late August - What To Do Now

    What an absolutely CRAZY couple of weeks we’ve just been through! The collapse of stock prices around the world has stunned investors. By some measures, the plunge in the Dow and the S&P 500 in August was the worst in 75 years, even worse than the Crash of 1987. While I advised readers to reduce long-only equity exposure significantly in April and May, I was not expecting a 15% spike down in just a few trading sessions.

    Later in today’s E-Letter, I will introduce you to the latest money manager to make it on to our recommended list. This money manager specializes in buying and selling options on stock index contracts. This is one of the more unusual strategies I have seen over the years, but when you see the results, you’ll understand why I’m so excited to add ZEGA Financial to our stable of recommended Advisors.

    Before we get to the above issues, let me briefly comment on last Thursday’s better than expected report on 2Q Gross Domestic Product.

    Posted to Forecasts & Trends by Gary D. Halbert on 09-02-2015
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  • Round Two Of Global Melt Down – Watch This Unfold…

    Within the United States, the US Federal Government and The US Federal Reserve Bank interventions have failed. These manipulations, by the central bank, in order to maintain the current stock bubble, and the real estate bubble, are currently reflecting...
    Posted to The Gold And Oil Guy by Chris Vermeulen on 09-01-2015
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